Parents' Guide to

Portal

By Dwight Odelius, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Innovative puzzler with first-person action.

Game Windows 2008
Portal Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 31 parent reviews

age 11+

Puzzles, humor, and some small blood just make sure you help them understand things some thinking required

I have played this game through its entirety the turret section of this game can be a bit bloody as the main character is hit over and over again by these thing dropping blood on the ground. There are sections in the game where if you fall into the green water full of neurotoxin your character dies and you have to start over. Guiding your child through some of the levels will challenge their mind skills as they solve room after room until the very end. GlaDOS the main story villian of the story is trying her best to make the player feel insignificant as she makes quippy remarks to the player as the game goes on showing that she is not just an artificial intelligence but a true artificial intelligence. If you are on the orange box for consoles i highly recommend observing them as the other titles in the orange box is not meant for children. Common sense reported somethings to talk to your children which is helpful to make them understand. With children as 9 they migh not notice the quippy remarks to the player but they might understand the other things i have mentioned and not understanding the premise of the story.
age 8+

Dark atmosphere, otherwise tame

There’s some dark humor and the atmosphere is a bit dark in some parts, but the only “upsetting” part is during the incinerator scene where (spoilers) the player must use their portal gun to escape a conveyor belt that leads to an incinerator.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (31 ):
Kids say (160 ):

Puzzle areas generally take the form of a room or series of rooms through which players must proceed in order to "win." The aperture gun makes it possible to create a portal in order to get to out-of-reach areas, drop onto moving platforms, or retrieve distant objects. That fairly simple formula produces some fiendish puzzles which invite the player to repeat them many times over. That's good, because the game is unfortunately quite short, with only a few hours of game play to finish off the main story. And finishing is required: the charming little song at the end makes the struggle well worth it.

Portal is an excellent game, the standout star of 2007's Half-Life 2:The Orange Box game compilation, which also included the Half-Life 2 saga and Team Fortress 2. As a stand-alone product, Portal includes no additional game content on top of what was included with The Orange Box, so those who own The Orange Box should not pick up this edition of Portal. But since The Orange Box is an M-rated title, if you have a teen looking for an interesting puzzler, this stand-alone version of Portal is an outstanding choice. It represents a new genre of game that combines the sophisticated physics of a first-person shooter with minimally-violent puzzle content.

Game Details

  • Platform: Windows
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Valve
  • Release date: April 9, 2008
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: T
  • Last updated: June 28, 2017

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